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Friday, September 1, 2017

July - August 2017

Summer is flying by, and August has come to a close. It's been a great summer, and a busy one here at Warren Bridge Campground! One more month to go, and we will close up the campground until next May when we return again to our "summer home" here in Wyoming! 

All records for this 16-site campground have been broken! We were full 21 nights in July and August, and many more nights we were nearly full... the hardest part is sending people away when there are no more sites available :(  Lots of activity in our Day Use Area and at the Warren Bridge Recreation Area up river. Also, a steady stream of RVs us the dump station, get water and dump trash, particularly on Sundays or following a holiday weekend or event. People have been great! 

We have been most pleased for the convenience of a 4-wheeler with mower and trailer attachments for use in the campground, and then the addition of a new Kawasaki "Mule" UTV! Great for gathering trash, delivering firewood, etc. Most handy! We are well taken care of here by the BLM.  A variety of photos follow...

Thanks to Kathleen for this photo of a moose!
Maggie enjoys walks to the river with us! We all miss Nell on these walks :(

An "oasis" - Warren Bridge Campground on the Green River - Daniel/Pinedale, Wyoming

We have been blessed with great visits with friends! As we ended our June blog post, Canadian friends were visiting... many good times with Karen & Bob, and Shoko & Harry! They stayed through their Canada Day and our July Fourth celebration, and Nancy & Dave came down from Jackson to join in one afternoon. 

My sister, Sherri, and Mom

On July 1st, my mother turned 90! I was sorry to not be at here celebration in Fallbrook, CA but so enjoyed all the photos and stories those in attendance shared with us! My mother is the most vibrant and active 90-year-old ever! A true inspiration! She had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed all the visits and festivities! 
Happy Birthday, Mom!
Oldest son, Brian, and his family with my mom
I spot many friends and family in this photo... sorry to have missed you all!

Longtime friends... Shandra, Mom, Don, Jack, Barbara

Cousin Bobbi and my mom

Nephew Michael and family, with my sister
L-R, standing... Gary, Mom, Audrey
seated... Roy and Dad, now 92 (Roy and Dad have been friends since 2nd Grade!)

July was a rather quiet month for us with few friends visiting, but a busy time in the campground, so it all worked out well! Tom enjoyed some rockhounding field trips. He helped one morning the with the setup of a gem & mineral show put on by the local club, and also attended the show one day. A variety of projects were accomplished in the campground... Tom painted all the tables in the day use area and the campground, as well as the site posts throughout the campground. The "boneyard" was hauled away, after many years of unused campground junk piled up... nice to have that area cleaned up! Tom enjoys projects and staying busy!

In late July, we enjoyed an impromptu visit with Tom's old college friend, Doug, stopping by on his return trip to Colorado from a fire camp in northern Wyoming. Good to catch up with Doug again, and we enjoyed a nice dinner at The Den in Daniel Junction. Thanks for stopping by, Doug!

Doug and Tom
Meanwhile... news from Tucson. Friends in Tucson told us of LOTS of rain there, as the Monsoons arrived! Around ten inches of rain fell in July! We appreciate news from home! The following are a couple of fun photos from our Tucson neighborhood!
Carol snapped this shot of Javalena in her back yard!

Carol also took this photo so we could see how tall our Century Plant bloom grew after we left... since the plant dies upon blooming, we will have to remove it once home again, and we are hoping to save the stalk and bloom to dry as a decoration! Thanks for the photos, Carol!

In early August, we met Nancy & Dave for a lunch visit at the Branding Iron Cafe in nearby Bondurant, WY... always good to catch up with them! One would think we could get together more often, since we are just 60 miles apart for the summer, but busy schedules make that more difficult than anticipated! Always fun when we do get together, and we look forward to our time together back in Tucson since we are now neighbors!
This photo was taken for a birthday text message to friend Dori :)
A surprise visit brought Randy from Oklahoma! We had met Randy at our niece's wedding in March, as he is her new father-in-law! We knew that he liked fishing in our area of Wyoming, and had once worked with a local deputy we know here. Great to see Randy here in our neck of the woods!

BABY NEWS is always fun! Congratulations to youngest son, Ryan, and wife Kate, on the birth of their daughter, Zelie Hildegard! Born August 7, 2017 on the full moon! A beautiful family... SO looking forward to seeing them all in October!!!!!

Big sister, Lucy!
Big brother, Obie!

Big brother, Ignatius!

Lots of fun visits in August... some planned accordingly to be here with us for the Eclipse! Kathleen & Mike, Sue & Paul, and Mary Jane & Tom spent time with us and we had such fun! Sonoran Hot Dogs one night, happy hour visits, Quesadilla & Margarita Night, and a Rib Dinner. Yummy food and great times together! The following are a variety of photos from a special few weeks!

Mike, Kathleen, Sue, Paul @ Wind River Brewing

Mary Jane, Tom, Kathleen, Tom, Mike, Paul, Sue... fun visit around the fire

Mike & Kathleen... our volunteer traffic directors for the Eclipse, 
with the "assistance"of their recently-adopted dog, Georgie!

Thanks to Sue for this amazing photo of the Eclipse!

A really good time with our fun and silly friends!
L-R... Paul, Sue, Mary Jane, Tom, Kathleen, Mike, Dianne, Tom

Lots of good times in August, but also a couple of painful losses. 

A lung cancer battle ended for Tom's uncle, Chuck Austin of Rexford, Kansas. Chuck fought a good fight, and is now at peace. This is an old photo of me with Chuck in the garden at their place in Kansas... always loved the garden! Chuck will be missed, and we look forward to time with Aunt Joan and family on our travels home in October. 
Tom and Carol Ann at Lost Trail Ranch
The second loss, which came as a complete surprise, was the passing of Carol Ann Wetherill! Carol Ann was Tom's first mother-in-law, and a dear friend! This photo was taken a few years back at her ranch near Creede, CO. They were chatting and stopped to pose for this photo. We were fortunate to have time with Carol Ann in late April when we enjoyed a visit with her and her son, Bill, in Alamosa. Carol Ann passed peacefully in her sleep, and will be so missed!

Keeping good thoughts, also, for friends dealing with illnesses! Wishing speedy recoveries! And mindful of flood victims around the country, and the world, and those coping with forest fires... so sad. A time when many jump in to be of help, and we hold these folks in our hearts when there isn't much we can do beyond donations and caring.  *** Wanted to add this inspirational quote by Fred Rogers... "When I was a boy and would see scary things in the news, my mother would say, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'" 

Happier thoughts... Our Colorado grandsons are growing and changing so! After a good and busy summer, they are back in school again. Amazing to think that they are now in sixth and fourth grades! So appreciate their parents' many efforts to keep us connected and aware of what's going on in their lives... thank you, Kirsten & Kevin, for all the phone calls, texts and photos, and for promoting our special connection! We miss you all! Looking forward to Spring Break!!!

Logan... first day of Middle School!
Owen... first day of 4th Grade!

So, on this note, we will close out another update... feeling ever grateful to friends and family, and beautiful experiences, that inspire us and help us recognize that there is SO MUCH GOOD in this life! We are greatly blessed!

Be well, everyone! Fondly, Dianne & Tom

The following lyrics are from the song, "Live This Life," by Big & Rich
"I'll live this life until this life won't let me live here anymore.
And I will walk, yes, I will walk with patience
through that open door.
I have no fear. Angels follow me where ever I may go."

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Recap - January thru June 2017

Greetings all!

We have not published a blog update since the end of 2016, and had thought to be done blogging. However, it has occurred to us that it will be fun to have a record of what we've put down in blogs later on, and have recently learned of a program that prints blog posts to books, so will continue on from time to time.

Trying to recap this last six months seems doable with the help of our photos and journal, so, here goes...

This was our first winter in our home in Tucson, and we enjoyed projects and time in the desert. We enjoy our neighborhood and our home without wheels.

 We thoroughly enjoy watching the birds, and frequent wildlife in the arroyo behind our house. Besides the variety of birds, we have seen coyotes, deer, rabbits, and even a family of javalena.

In January we gathered with RV friends in Quartzsite for ten days... good times together, and we saw many of these folks later on in Tucson, also.
Tina, Robbie, Alice, Jeff

Mike, Paul, Julie, Sue

In Tucson, we enjoyed times with neighbors as well as friends passing through.

We first met Christine & Brent, and their sweet dog, Shadow, at our campground in the summer of 2015. So good to see them again and have them visit in our Tucson home! Thanks, friends, for time together!

Carol & Clinton travel from their home in New Brunswick, Canada, and spent a few days parked nearby. Carol is the friend that taught me to do Swedish Weaving a couple of years back! They certainly win the prize for traveling the farthest :)

Mary Jane, Tom, Kimberly and Richard were at Quartzsite, and we had a couple of fun visits while they were in "our neighborhood."
We have met up with Ruth & Dale in a number of locations, and it's always fun to chat and get caught up. This evening, we went to an Irish Pub.

Brad, Tom, Dianne, Marilyn, Dori, Ken, Dave, Nancy, Wayne, Barbara
A fun gathering at Snyder Hill

On March 1st, Sherri & Ed flew down from Boise, Idaho for a few days. Time with my sister is always special, and we so enjoyed having both of them as our house guests for a few days! The weather cooperated, and we got in some pool time and had many good visits!

Soon after their visit, we packed up the motorhome for a week in Fallbrook, California to attend their daughter's wedding and spend time with my parents, family and friends there.

Congratulations and all good wishes to Leah & Matt! Great celebration, and fun to meet Matt's family and see many of our family.

Tom, Dianne, Don, Dad, Mom, Sherri, Ed
My parents live in a nice retirement center in Fallbrook, and it was good to be able to enjoy meals with them there in a small private dining room that was available for us. We had frequent visits with them and family, plus other visiting family members.

Budd, Jerry, Sharon, Tom, Dianne, Patty

Time is usually short while in Fallbrook, but we snuck in meals and visits with long-time friends... good to catch up, and always special to be together!
Dianne, Steve, Tom, Gloria

NELL   10/9/2003 - 3/20/2017
πŸ’” Now for the sad part of this blog update... parting with a loved pet is always difficult, and our hearts are broken. We knew the time to say goodbye to Nell was nearing, but I guess you are never prepared. Nell began losing her hearing last fall, and had some anxiety from that, as well as muscle loss and some seizures. By March, we knew the time was nearing and we didn't want her to suffer and go on with reduced quality of life. Thanks to the support of our veterinarian to help us through this process, we made the most difficult decision to let her go.

Here are some photos from our 13+ years of joy with this special girl. We know that in the future, the pain will become memories of the many great times with her.

In this photo, Maggie and Nell were just staring at Tom and waiting for him to say, "is it time to eat?"

I don't know if cats grieve, but Maggie sure seemed to miss Nell after she was gone. We give her lots of extra love and attention now... she is our therapy cat :)

When Tom went fishing, Nell would wait patiently in anticipation, and as he pulled in a fish she would run up and down the shore, yipping with excitement. 

This photo was taken our last summer in Wyoming, when Nell still had the strength and energy to be the "fishing scout." Though older and slower then, she was always Tom's best fishing scout!
 The following quote was in a note from a friend...
"Dogs come into our lives, leave paw prints on our hearts,
and we are forever changed."

In April we continued enjoying visits with friends in the area. 
And, it was fun helping Nancy & Dave celebrate their new home! Just five doors down the street from us! More fun times to come in the neighborhood!
Julie, Nancy, Tom, Dave, Sue, Mike, Paul

Just a bit of review... Nancy & Dave are RVers we met in Roswell, New Mexico in the spring of 2011 when they were volunteers at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge where Tom worked. They shared lots of information with us about the RV lifestyle, and once Tom retired and we sold our home in Roswell, they were our "biggest cheerleaders" as we headed out to be Full-time RVers! Our paths have crossed often... we will love being neighbors in Tucson!

Soon we were preparing to travel again... loading our motorhome and getting our house ready to be closed up for six months as we headed north. Summer in Tucson is HOT, so returning to Warren Bridge Campground in Wyoming seemed a good alternative. This would be our third summer as hosts at this small BLM campground, and we looked forward to returning.

Good bye to our Tucson home, until next fall...

We left Tucson on April 15th, taking our time as we headed east and north, mindful that it would be wise to adjust to higher elevations slowly. One stop Tom was keen on was Winslow, Arizona... he wanted to "stand on the corner." Doesn't everyone? 

Once in Colorado, we enjoyed a few days with Kevin, Kirsten, Logan and Owen in Bayfield... always special to be with our son, daughter-in-law and grandsons! Meals together, hiking, pool time at the casino where we stayed in Ignacio, and all-around good time! Thanks for everything!

From there, we traveled on to Monte Vista and spent one night parked at Margaret & Tyler's... great catch-up visit! Thanks for the delicious dinner!

While in Monte Visit, we got in a short visit with Neva... nice to see her feeling better and looking well! We had a good time with Marjie & Chuck, and they treated us to lunch at a favorite spot... a meal with them at Dos Rios has become tradition while in the Valley! Thanks, again!

We then parked for a couple of days at Braxton's in Alamosa, and had visits and a meal out with him! Always appreciate our "guest parking" there! Thanks, Brax! Best RV park in town! We also got in a visit with Carol Ann, and even got to see Bill (Sandy was teaching, and we missed her!). We were so pleased to get a copy of the book recently published for Carol Ann and Sandy about the history of the Upper Rio Grande! Good job, ladies!!!

Next stop, coffee and visit with Bunny & Ken in La Veta! Glad we were able to fit in that stop at their ranch... always fun to catch up with these special friends in such a beautiful location. Thanks!

From there we went to Colorado Springs and parked at the Elk's Lodge. We enjoyed time with Kayla & Weston... so fun to see their new house! Tom helped with some electrical projects, we got our laundry caught up while having visits! And, our last evening in town they treated us to a great Italian dinner! Thanks, kids!

On to Fort Collins and a couple days in Loren's neighborhood, parked at the Elk's Lodge there. He came for a visit our first afternoon, and I enjoyed fixing breakfast burritos for Loren the next morning. We did a bit of shopping, and treated ourselves to a very fun and amazing dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse... oh, goodness! So tasty, and we were so full after dinner, but it was a good time. Thanks, Loren, for taking a day off to spend extra time with us!

Note... didn't take photos during this busy time of visits in Colorado, but all these special people have previously appeared in blog posts. Many good memories!

We headed next to Rapid City, South Dakota to renew our driver's licenses, which we must do every five years to remain South Dakota residents. Got that taken care of, and then spent a couple of days touring the area.

We had never been to Devil's Tower, so took the route to there and spent a couple of days... went to the visitor center and then hiked the path around the base of the rock formation. Weather couldn't have been better, and we really enjoyed our time there!

We arrived in Pinedale, Wyoming on May 10th, stopped by the BLM office to pick up campground keys and supplies, and were at the campground by late afternoon! Good to be back... felt like home!
Our "Host Site" at Warren Bridge Campground

Weather was great for the first few days, and we spent the time settling in, preparing the campground to open on May 13th. Then, a storm blew in! Not nice!!! But, this IS Wyoming, and the weather changes frequently.
 We learned that we could receive rural delivery at the campground... got to love small towns! So, we bought a mailbox and Tom mounted it to a post in a bucket of cement. Great to receive mail  at our "summer home."
We enjoy the Pronghorn antelope that visit the campground, as well as nesting bluebirds that recently hatched and flew the nest. Four Killdeer eggs hatched in our yard, too, and a pair of Osprey nest on a pole at the river. Have seen only two moose so far!

Tom joined a local rockhounding club, and has enjoyed some new friendships and field trips!

One of the best things about our summer location is friends popping in to visit us here at the campground!

Our first visitors were Barb & Doug from Terrebonne, Oregon. We met Barb & Doug here in 2015, and then visited them at their home that fall! They visited us in Tucson in February, and it was fun to reconnect here again!

Next to arrive were Donna & Matt, neighbors from Tucson Estates! We have enjoyed getting to know them better!
Matt, Donna, Barb, Larry, Steve, Robin, Tom
While Donna & Matt were camped here, there were two other fulltimers that we met and clicked with... both couples are South Dakota residents and members of the Escapees RV Club. We had a nice gathering one evening!

Next to arrive were Diane & Dave! Fun to reminisce about the times and places we have been together! While here, Dave took some aerial photos from his drone! Great fun to see, and he also did a fun video that can be seen on Youtube at "Warren Bridge 2017."

Great job, Dave!
Great shot of part of the campground, showing our site and theirs in the lower portion, and the Day Use loop near Highway 191 at the old Warren Bridge. The photo even shows how full the Green River is running! 

Tom, Karen, Dianne, Bob... REAL MEN EAT KALE!
And, to close out June, Karen & Bob arrived on the 26th, and Shoko and Harry on the 30th! We first met these special Canadians in December of 2013 in Borrego Springs, California. They are all residents of British Columbia.
Bob, Harry, Karen, Shoko

Our paths have crossed in many locations over the years. Like us, they prefer to "boondock" in remote spots. We have enjoyed great adventures together, and are truly grateful that they all made it to our campground before they head on east! Look forward to seeing you all again in the desert next winter, eh!

Well, this about wraps it up for now... thanks for traveling along with us. We send all good wishes! Be well, everyone!

Fondly, Dianne & Tom

“One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are.” — American novelist Edith Wharton